Last week, the Liberia National Police (LNP) made history following the arrest and detention of a sitting lawmaker on charges of criminal conspiracy, obstruction of investigation, among others, a move applauded by women groups and rights advocates in the country.
Representative Morias Waylee, Grand Gedeh County District#2 who is at the center of the alleged rape of a 13-year old child was placed behind bars at the headquarters of the Liberia National Police on Capitol Hill.
The much-debated allegation of rape involving Grand Gedeh County District #2 Representative, Morias Waylee, of his 12 years old niece, yesterday took a new dimension when Police charged him with criminal conspiracy and tampering with a witness during investigations and remanded in custody.
Sometime in May, a local media reported that Suspect Waylee allegedly raped and impregnated his niece who was reportedly staying with him but later took her out of his home to an unknown location after the alleged rape was reported with the intent to destroy evidence. The minor’s father was also reported to be Rep. Waylee’s driver.
Addressing a brief press conference yesterday in Monrovia, Inspector General Col. Gregory Coleman said, “With the investigation thus far carried out by the LNP along with its collaborating partners it has been established that a minor named Regina Barway, known to be a niece of Rep. Waylee has lived with him and was in school through his sponsorship at a school in Careysburg, along the Kakata-Monrovia highway.
“We have come to make it publicly known that Hon. Waylee has been arrested and charged. His actions are in violation of our penal code.”
He added: “In view of the evidence gathered and circumstances surrounding this matter the investigation has resolved to charge suspect Morias Waylee and Wedeh Waylee, the wife of the suspect, with criminal conspiracy in violation of chapter 10.4. And in addition to that for tampering with witness which is in violation of Chapter 12 sub-chapter C 1240b1 and Chapter 12 sub-chapter C section 12.411 for tampering with the criminal investigation. All of which contravene the Revised Penal Code of the Republic of Liberia.”
Col. Coleman said the suspect will be in police custody for 48 hours and his wife is wanted for questioning.
“Anyone seeing Mrs. Wedeh Waylee should kindly hint the nearest police so that she can be arrested to help us in our investigation,” he noted.
He said the suspect, who has not been charged with rape now, does not mean that it is overlooked because the investigation is still ongoing, and there is a need to establish all the facts to make sure the act was committed before coming up with such a charge.
Police Inspector General, Gregory Coleman: “We are calling on the public to make known the actual location of this child.”
“Afterward we will look forward the case to court even though there is no official complainant yet. As it is the case is now a state matter and we will do all we can to bring all those involved, including one Sayedee, the father of the victim, a driver of Waylee,” he said.
He called on Liberians to pray for the safety and well-being of the victim. “We are very much concerned about her whereabouts and her safety. We fear that her life could be at risk now as an investigation into this case continues. We are calling on the public to make known the actual location of this child,” he said.
The arrest of Waylee is a precedent since it is related to a high profile government official. It may be recalled that child rights activist, Abraham M. Keita led a group of protesters to the Capitol Building to demand Rep. Waylee recuse himself from legislative work and to defend himself against the charge in court. Rep. Waylee further leveled defamation charges against Keita, which were later resolved in court.
When contacted via phone yesterday, child rights activist Keita said he has been wishing to see the arrival of this day. “My struggle has not and will never be against innocent souls but those who continue to perpetrate heinous crimes against our sisters and others in our country. It does not matter who is involved, justice must be served to all men impartially,” he noted.
Keita promised not to rest until a verdict protecting either side in the case is handed down and the necessary penalty is given. “Today Varney Jersey and many others are behind bars for the same crime of alleged rape. If the Honorable (Rep. Waylee) is guilty, he must bear the consequences of his action,” Keita said.
CREDIT: Daily Observer